All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

All the Light We Cannot See is a historical novel set during World War II, following the intertwining stories of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a young German orphan with a knack for radios. As their paths converge, they navigate the horrors of war and discover the power of human connection.

Author: Anthony Doerr
Label: Recent Prize Winner
Project: warWorld War II
Year of publication: 2014
Pages: 531





Plot Complexity: moderate
Language Complexity: high
Ideas Complexity: high

In All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr’s prose strikes a balance between simplicity and intricacy, incorporating rich vocabulary and nuanced sentence structures that enhance the narrative. The language employed by Anthony Doerr is sophisticated , captivating readers with its advanced vocabulary and complex sentence structures, creating a rich and immersive reading experience. The novel features an intricate and non-linear narrative structure, interweaving the lives of two protagonists during World War II. The plot unfolds through multiple perspectives and timelines, involving complex character development and numerous subplots. The novel’s ideas delve into profound themes and explore the impact of war on human lives, provoking contemplation and offering a nuanced exploration of the depths of the human condition.


From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

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